[People] Bob the Banjo Player

Bob Banjo 1 Today, I'm going to take a short break from the regular flow of posts and introduce a new category of posts - people! These posts will probably be rare, but I think it's a fun way to change things up.

This is Bob. I met Bob on Sproul Plaza one day while setting up for an event. It was hard to not notice him and his soulful banjo playing. Now, if you know me, you know that I'm not the type to strike up conversation with a random person on the street (or on Sproul plaza in this case), but I had a little nudging to go talk to him. If anything, I could pick up some tips on improving my banjo playing (yes I play some banjo). So, I walked up to him, listened for a while, then as he ended a song, I initiated conversation, albeit very awkwardly (do you sense the awkwardness with all these awkward commas? - awkward). Hoping to learn something new, I asked him what the secret to getting good at the banjo was.

Bob Banjo 2

Being the clever busker he was, he said he would tell me if I dropped a dollar in his cup adorned with reindeer in ugly Christmas sweaters. Being the frugal college student I am, I stopped and thought about the value of a dollar while he stared at me. Finally, I gave in - mind you, I work while going to school, I know a little bit about the value of money. As soon as the dollar dropped to the bottom of his cup, he said one word, "Practice." Initially, I was taken aback. Of course I knew that! He just stole my precious dollar! Seriously, anyone that's ever done anything knows that you need to practice to get half-way decent at what you do, be it sports, dance, or underwater basket weaving.

He must have seen the disappointment in my face because he said, "Okay, I'll say a little more," and talked about how to practice. Practice methodically and intentionally. Devote time to hone your craft. Know what to practice and when. Don't practice a ton in one sitting and take an extended break, be consistent. To be completely honest, I kind of knew this too. However, I appreciated his willingness to share his knowledge. And at the end of the day, it was a nice, much needed reminder.

Sometimes, we all forget that hard work and practice is what it takes. There are no short cuts in life (that don't cause you to feel like a terrible sinner and run you the risk of getting thrown in prison). I'll add on a little bit of my limited wisdom here. Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes more of how you practice. Say you practice something wrong, you're just going to get worse. When you practice, do it right. Anywho, thank you, Bob, for your words of wisdom.